Debate team battles

Does well in National tourney

The Los Medanos College Debate team returned from Alaska and the national debate tournament that was held last weekend, where it competed as one of only two community colleges against 58 four-year colleges.

“As an experience, it was amazing!” exclaimed debater Dennis Tekell. “The level of competition, diverse background of debaters and excitement of Alaska contributed to an amazing time.”

With a turnout of over 170 teams from around 60 schools, the tournament was packed.

“It was way bigger than other tournaments,” said student debater Katie Lucido. “The biggest tournament we went to had 80 teams, and this had over double that.”

As a national tournament, the massive field of competitors led to some differences from earlier tournaments, such as the previous one at Sal Louis Obispo.

“It was also nice to meet people from all around the country and form friendships and connections,” said Tekell, adding, “the atmosphere was competitive and positive … debaters throughout tended to be supportive and motivating.”

“It’s not just a normal tournament,” said Lucido, “so everyone school took it seriously.”

Tekell noted that every team was at a competitive level. Debate coach Kasey Gardner added, “when we’re debating Yale or Stanford people don’t know we’re a community college. We get the opportunity to compete on equal footing.”

The team not only did well in debate, but in representing LMC as a school.

Coach Marie Arcidiacono said, “I’m very proud of how our team represented the campus. I think that when you go to any tournament, but particularly a large tournament, you know that people are looking and judging your institution based on your students.”

“The positive comments we got about our students let me know they were representing LMC to the best of their ability,” added Arcidiacono.

While the official results for all teams beyond the final four are not out yet, the team feels they did well as one of two community colleges in attendance.

The debate team’s next event will be a public and intramural debate on May 1 at LMC.

The results will be posted with this story online at as they become available.